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Daniel

Frankfurt am MainGermany

3
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  • 44 titles in library
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  • In Fed We Trust: Ben Bernanke's War on the Great Panic

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By David Wessel
    • Narrated By Dan Woren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (111)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (35)

    "Whatever it takes.". That was Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's vow as the worst financial panic in more than 50 years gripped the world and he struggled to avoid the once unthinkable: a repeat of the Great Depression. Brilliant but temperamentally cautious, Bernanke researched and wrote about the causes of the Depression during his career as an academic. Then when thrust into a role as one of the most important people in the world, he was compelled to boldness by circumstances he never anticipated.

    Daniel says: "A must-read for Fed watchers"
    "A must-read for Fed watchers"
    Overall

    It is a well-researched book giving the Fed's side of the story of how the present financial crisis developed and was managed. A must-read for those interested in politics and policy of money, inflation, financial markets and financial stability, to be read together with Charles Morris' 'The two trillion dollar meltdown' (which gives a market side of the things). Taking of the Fed perspective to describe the crisis is in itself unique and certainly worth a praise - it rightly focuses on the central bank as a the main nerve in crisis management, while demystifying its workings and providing a lot of colorful inside detail. Yet a few criticisms can be made. First, the book tries to be three things at once: a primer on the Fed's history and functions, a journalistic recounting of how the Fed behaved in the crisis since August 2007 and a biographical background to a few key players - Ben Bernanke and his closest lieutenants. The way those three streams are mixed sometimes seems a bit too arbitrary - I imagine heavily indexing the print copy of the book to be able to fully recover the three intertwined stories. Also: having an European background I noticed the author is rather loose on covering the interaction between the European Central Bank and the Fed in the crisis - which should in fact be a fourth major story line. Clearly, the author simply avoided a topic on which he felt less strong to write but the effect is of major underestimation of the co-operation effort that the present financial crisis enforced between central bankers and governments across the globe.

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